Friday, April 26, 2013

Bye-Bye Thailand

So, it's only been 2 weeks or more since we got back from Thailand and I still haven't even sorted all the pics out yet or blogged about it. Oops! Let's see if I can remember all that happened - the condensed version. OK my version of condensed ;-) :

We set off for an epic travel-fest on Easter Sunday morning, flying from Melbourne, Australia to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a 4 hour+ stopover. With time to kill we decided to take a taxi around the area to see what Malaysia was like and ended up just driving around and getting Domino's pizza! Highly cultural and enlightening ;-). Then on to Phuket, and a wild and scary high speed taxi trip to our hotel. Due to my lack of planning and ability to work out the time difference, we got there around midnight. The kids were troopers though and toughed out the all-day travel. Due to a ferry booking, we had to be out of the hotel at 7.50am so no long lazy sleep ins just yet. The ferry trip to Koh Phi Phi Don was uneventful, but took most of the morning. We finally got to our resort and checked in. Thank God for air con as it was around 38 degrees every day with sweat dripping down our backs. The next few days were spent lazing around the pool, ocean and hiring longtail boats from the local sea gypsies. For about $12 aussie dollars an hour, they'd take us - a family of 4 -  wherever we wanted. We headed out to various beaches and locations in the Andaman sea to explore and swim/snorkel. We tried twice to see monkeys at Monkey Island but it wasn't meant to be. Although, we did have a pet monkey thrust upon DS in town for a money making photo op. Got a great pic of it on his head! We did see the cove where the movie "The Beach" was filmed. Very pretty area, but over run with tourists. We also headed to the main tourist area of Tonsai Bay (we stayed at Laem Tong - the opposite end of the island and much quieter and more peaceful) for shopping and supplies. Oh, and I had a massage which may or may not have resulted in a bruised arm - not quite the feeling I was hoping for.

Then it was time to head back to Phuket for our flight to Bangkok. Our ferry - a different company this time - was meant to depart at 5pm, but after several delays, and the ferry becoming a speed boat, we finally crammed 22 people - plus luggage - onto a small speedboat and left at 6.30pm. Thankfully our flight was another late one so it didn't change our plans too much. The trip back over was horrific. I was crammed into a corner with my knees up against my chest, with just a small ledge keeping me from the engines and the sea. Let's just say it certainly was a speed boat - a high speed speedboat. We flew across the water, getting airborne and being thrown around our seats. I braced myself the entire time and was constantly worried about my son who doesn't do open water or high speed. Thankfully none of us were sick as that would have been a nightmare, as the floor was covered in luggage. The girls next to us informed us that it got worse as they had already traveled over from another island and seriously considered staying where we were to avoid another hour on the open water! All 22 of us managed to keep our acts together and make it out alive the other side!

Another taxi trip - and airport - later, we were set for our late night flight to Bangkok. Thankfully we were on the ball and caught our flight, despite the gate change. We were meant to leave from one gate, but that got changed on the board to a different one, although there were no staff around in that area. I asked some flight crew from another airline in a different area where it would leave from and they said their gate. Turns out it was boarding in another area altogether and we managed to get through on the last call, only to be herded into a bus. Checking every step of the way, I made sure we boarded the correct flight and we made it to our hotel at something like 12.45am. Yep, I seem to have some sort of trouble with daytime travel.

Bangkok was not quite as busy and crazy as I thought it might be. We hit MBK the next day - a massive 7 story shopping centre. Although the prices were good, it wasn't quite the shop-'til-you-drop scenario I was hoping for. We did pick up some PC stuff, clothes, shoes and bits and pieces. The next day we decided to use or free skytrain tickets and brave the public transport system to go to Chatuchak - the biggest weekend market in the world! Bargains were more plentiful there and we snapped up some more goodies. Then off to the airport and a red-eye flight back home. Kinda hard to sleep sitting up but we all managed some. Although I admit to coming home and taking a much needed nana nap. Did someone mention a holiday? Yep, I think I need another one. No plans, no alarms, just a magazine, some cross stitch, a cocktail or 12, good food, a pool and/or ocean plus a deck chair and/or hammock would do quite nicely right now! Greedy much?
Image Hosting by

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Blackwork butterfly finish

This was was quite quick in terms of actual hours spent stitching it, but it required good eyesight and actual time. Here it is:

  • Name of the design is Blackwork Butterfly
  • Chart is a freebie by Nermine Latif for Needlecraft
  • Fabric is 28 count white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is red sulky thread in one strand, with 2 strands for the outline and middle part
  • Stitch count is 55 x 45
  • Started on April 13th 2013
  • Completed on April 25th 2013

Image Hosting by

Smile free design

Here's another design I came up with, but haven't stitched as yet. Again, please leave a comment if you download it. Thanks.

Image Hosting by

Guest hand towel free design

Here's a design I came up with ages ago. Designed to stitch on a pre-finished hand towel. Please leave a comment if you download it. Thanks.

Image Hosting by

Free "Feed Me" design

Trawling through my computer, I found this design I came up with for a bib. I can't even remember who it was for it was that long ago. Feel free to download it and stitch it for yourself. Please leave a comment if you do. Thanks.

Image Hosting by

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I'm still here!

Just. After touching down from our trip to Thailand I spent the next few -I'd like to say days, but in all honesty it was more like weeks -  playing catch up in regards to everything I had to do, and before I knew it I was off to Sydney for a loooooong karate weekend - 6 flights in 3 weeks is massive for me. Usually it would take a year or two to rack up that many flights.
Anyway, I just wanted Carissa and Sharine to know I haven't forgotten about your prizes for March. I will get on top of them and email you when they go out. Keep posting comments for your chance to win in April.
Image Hosting by

Friday, April 12, 2013

Christmas bauble is done

Here it is:

  • Name of the design is well, another unnamed one so I've called it "Christmas bauble"
  • Chart is a freebie from this blog that I adapted a little. I didn't stitch the background snowflakes and changed "Happy Holidays" to the year 2002 - backdated to add to the "ornament a year" for my kids that I've been working on - and my initials
  • Fabric is white opalescent evenweave
  • Thread is "orange zing" silk from Carrie's Creations
  • Stitch count is 37 x 47
  • Started on April 11th 2013
  • Completed on April 12th 2013

Image Hosting by

Pansy tuck ornament is done

This project was a bit of a pain. I have had the pattern saved for ages and then I got this tuck ornament a while back and knew it would be perfect for it. The problem is the pattern printed out blurry and whatever I did I couldn't make it clear enough to read. Therefore I started searching the internet again for the free pattern and found it, only to discover it was uploaded that way. I emailed the magazine company that uploaded it but never got a response. Therefore I went to my go-to message board for all things cross stitch - and many other things too - 123stitch. "Luvxstch", a member there, was able to help me as she had the chart. Again it wasn't perfectly clear but clear enough for me to fudge it and make it work. I kind of made up my own backstitching as it was quite messy too. Here's the final result:

  • Name of the design, well I don't think it had one but I called it "pansy"
  • Chart was a freebie found here, I initially tried to stitch one of the 3 free designs, but this one actually came from the cushion
  • Fabric is a random off cut of hand dyed mottled mauve evenweave fabric. The tuck ornament came from Amy 
  • Thread is regular DMC cotton
  • Stitch count is about 24 x 23
  • Started on 10th of April 2013
  • Completed on 11th of April 2013

Image Hosting by

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blogoversary prize pics - year long and February

Carissa and Wilma have gotten thier prizes in the mail so I can post pics of what I sent. Here's Carissa's prize:
There's a small kit, a thread holder, mini frame, chart and mini pillow I made.

Here's Wilma's prize:
There's a sheet of Christmas designs, 2 cards, 2 skeins of thread and an eye glass holder.

Image Hosting by

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

March blogoversary contest winner is.....

Sharine! Congrats on winning, I will be in touch shortly. Keep on posting comments for your chance to win in April.
Image Hosting by